This was a book used to discuss prejudices and racism in 5th grade classrooms in the late 90s. The characters in the book go to a general store and are treated poorly by others in the store. The N word is used many times throughout the book. I recall many Mildred D. Taylor books being used in this curriculum, so this could just be a specific chapter in one of her books, rather than the entire book? Perhaps The Friendship? I recall a specific young character in the book really wanting a piece of hard candy from the general store!